Meet Gazal. A 4-year-old believer in the Holy Land that cannot afford to go to a Christian school is forced to be put in an education learning Islam and other ideologies, even though they're trying to keep their Christian Faith. (photos are real images of those we stand with support, although names and ages would have changed as time passes and their stories are shared)
“Kids Bible-based Education is what will break indoctrination and antichrist beliefs “
For those of you who have prayed and kept up with our outreach ministry in Jenin. You know that it has recently been in the news regularly. There are still many anti-government activities going on in the city of Jenin, especially in the refugee camp of Jenin. In fact, the last several times we were there, there were either killings or bombings between Palestinian young men and Israeli soldiers within hours of us driving out of there. Of course, as you well know, we do not get caught in politics, our "Air force One" is the Gospel figuratively and spiritually speaking, of course.
We go in and open the Bible with families that could at any moment be drawn into the wrong kind of indoctrination and political hatred. The more people I meet there, the more I realize that they are hopeless because no secure true hope was offered to them. Their sight of hope and change is limited not because of other people groups that surround them, but because of the evil and darkness that is built in every human being’s nature. For some, it is fueled more than others by what we are taught and by what they are influenced by. We go to homes of secret believers where they would invite friends and family to hear the message of Jesus. I asked a group of about seven foreigners to join me to the homes I was visiting, 5 of whom were Bible college students from Oklahoma. I usually do not take foreigners into areas like Jenin, this time I did but chose to stay outside of the more dangerous areas, which we normally would enter. In the living room of one home sat about 8 people, seven females and one male. I talked about eternity and what it looks like for those that believe in Jesus. I talked about why we believe in Jesus the way we do. It wasn't long till I started to see faces turn, eyes rolling, and eyes were staring at me. Most did not like what I was saying. I knew it, and so did the Americans with me. They saw it too. This wasn't the first time this happened, so I stopped, and I asked one lady, "who do you believe Jesus is?" She responded with another question: how God can have a son, doesn't that sound funny to you? This saying and belief will get us killed and exiled from the small neighborhood and streets we live in. It wasn't surprising to know later that this woman was a traditional Christian, unlike the other few there who were Muslim. I asked her if she ever sat down with someone to read the Bible or someone to ask questions? She said no. I asked her whether she has ever heard of a Bible study. She said no, what does it mean to Study the Bible? I asked her whether she knew where she was going if she died today. She laughed out loud and said who does? No one does. After two hours of questions and answers, which by the way I asked the American group with me to jump and get involved by answering a few questions as well.
The host family and the rest ended up learning so much that they asked us to come back again soon. In two hours of spending time with them, it went from sighing, eyes rolling, and eyebrows moving up and down to hearts jumping up and down. By the way, every single home we have been to in the past where we have had these kinds of experiences, usually more than half of those that attended ended up coming to Jesus within two to three meetings. So we are confident that soon, they'll be raising their hearts and hands to Jesus exulting His name as King. I know if you, yes you those that pray and give to our ministry were there they will hug you and say thank you for making it possible for us to go with family packages feeding them physically and spiritually they would say thank you for showing them the light. Please do not stop praying for the young people in all of the major cities we minister in.
The hope for our nation is starting with the young hearts and minds. Some of you know of and support the “Bible Education Sponsorship'' program. There are so many kids that need support. In a previous visit at a home in Jenin, I was sitting in a living room, where we had to be very discrete even in our bible teaching even our speaking voices had to be on a lower tone to not let the neighborhood know of our presence there. A mother calls Gazal , her 4-year-old daughter, into the living room. At this time I was sipping on a hot mint tea, which I love to drink during my visits. Gazal walks in with her bunny rabbit in her hands, her mother stands her in front of me and tells her to show Pastor Khoury how to pray. I lifted my back and head up proudly because I thought the mother was showing me how our work in that area is affecting the young kids. As I am sipping on my hot minty tea, the 4-year-old girl gets on her knees and begins to pray the Islamic prayer and recite the pillars of Islam. I jumped back, I burnt my tongue, spilled the tea on my shirt, and my throat had the fastest gushing hot tea feeling I have ever had. I must admit that was the first time I had wished I said no to that tea. Not to mention, the anger that I felt when I saw this. I asked the mother why aren't you teaching her the Bible why aren't you praying with her? I had to stop myself halfway through my question and to remind myself that this is an area entrenched in Islam where for years no one taught them the Bible or the message of Jesus Christ. I told the mother; I know Gazal is learning this in kindergarten and asked her can't you put her in a private school. She said the only one is 10 miles away, which for a villager is a long way, and to add the bus costs and the costs for tuition, books and admin fees, she said we could not afford it since they have 4 children. I told her the first thing we need to do now is to pray and ask Jesus to be the Lord of her home and to live in her heart, amazingly the whole family received Jesus that day. Gazal prayed with us as well. I shared with them that we will be reaching out for help for them. There are many more like Gazal, in fact in Jenin alone there are over 22 kids in Gazal shoes that cannot afford to go to a Christian school and are forced to be put in public schools where she is taught other ideologies.